By Patience Loum, Banjul, The Gambia – Thursday, December 5, 2019.
Scientists, professors and medical researchers from 12 different countries across the African sub-region, including Ghana, Nigeria Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and more have converged on the Medical Research Center (MRC) in Fajara, a coastal suburb in the town of Bakau in the Gambia, Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
The team discussed the development of a new medical approach using antimicrobial drugs to help provide solutions to diseases in Africa. Martin Antonio, a professor of Molecule and Microbiology in Global Health said there’s the need to have knowledge of bacteria circulating in Africa to help derive treatment.
“We need to know the type of bacteria that are circulating in Africa so that we can target drugs. We cannot use data from Europe or American because the pathogens are different. This is an African problem so we need to target bacteria in Africa to develop on new drug discovery.” Martin said.
The three-day event was also graced by the British High Commissioner to The Gambia, Sharon Wardle who showed appreciation to the British government for funding such research and also to the medical research unit for their tremendous aid in health in The Gambia.
“I just find that one of the key tasks of the medical research council’s strategy which is about widening and diversifying the research phase to address changing needs taking in consideration of low income countries and working partnerships to help maximize and develop sustainable and efficient research capacity which I think speaks to a height of why we are all gathered here today”, she said.
She further stated that “The UK has a relatively new policy and strategic approach to Africa where we are actually trying to actively look across the whole of the UK government at a fusion approach to how we work alongside investing and partner with African Nations to create. Scientific research across the disciplines is one important way that we feel that we can work together to help achieve this.”
Other key speakers included different stakeholders from across the African sub-region and also the office of the World Health Organization and Gambia’s Health Ministry.